You know your first language? The language your mama used to console you, the language you use to tell secrets to your diary, the language you think in – yeah that one. Now imagine if there was no Bible in that language. The Word of God out of your reach because the language that speaks to your heart isn’t available for you.
Now, I’d imagine you’d be happy when you found one in your second language. The language you struggled to learn in high school. The language you love to use, but can only use it for so long before your head starts to hurt. The language that takes most of your brain power for both comprehension and sentence forming. Yeah, you’d be happy to finally have God’s word in that language because you finally have access to life. But, it can never compare to reading it and fully understanding like with the use and ease of your first language.
But, the good news is, you DO have the Bible in your first language. Right now, you can pick up 1 out of over 100 different versions of the Bible in English and read your heart out. There are commentaries to explain every verse. There are Bible studies to deeper your understanding. There are podcasts and YouTube videos. The deaf all over the world do not have the same privileges you do.
There is not ONE complete version of the Bible into a signed language anywhere in the world.
Not only is reading in your second language a challenge, but the Deaf can’t hear syllables. They can’t hear word breaks. They have to memorize words, it’s not intuitive. Many Deaf, even if they can read, do not make it past a 3rd grade reading level. This isn’t because they aren’t smart, it’s because it’s hard. And words like “sanctify” do not typically come up in your third grade classroom.
So, what’s the solution? Make a Bible in their language! It’s easy. People have been doing it for years. They film them, make videos, put them on discs, flash drives, YouTube, or other apps and share them around the community. It is a Bible just like the one on your nightstand except in a language that reaches a different group of people. Below are a couple examples of different translations. Take a look to see how they work!